Irish Dominican Sisters disembarked in Sydney

4 September 2017 | General Interest

On 4th September 1867, after a perilous journey of three months on a tiny wooden sailing ship, the ‘Martha Birnie’, eight brave and generous Irish Dominican Sisters disembarked in Sydney. They immediately went to St Patrick’s Church at the Rocks to give thanks for a safe journey and ask a blessing on their new venture.

They were on their way to Maitland NSW, where they had been invited by the Irish Bishop, Dr James Murray, to found a community, and a Congregation, in his new diocese among people many of whom were part of the Irish Diaspora. The Sisters’ ministry would be to teach young boys and young women of all classes their Catholic faith and provide them with all the tools they would need to live as good Christian men and women in the relatively new colony.


Chalice used at the Mass, came out with the sisters on the Martha Birnie.


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